Space and life sciences centre established in Edinburgh Bioquarter
30 August 2013
A new Centre of Excellence for Space and Life Sciences to
be based at the Edinburgh BioQuarter will create a physical
environment for innovation in the crossover between health and space
The Centre will enable healthcare providers, experts from space
and life sciences domains, industry and investment organisations to
explore synergies in these fields and leverage adjacent technologies
to address global healthcare challenges.
Set up by Scottish Enterprise and the Satellite Applications
Catapult, its aim is to catalyse significant economic benefits to
both Scotland and the wider UK, with a focus on business incubation
and growing the small to medium size enterprise industrial base. The
Satellite Applications Catapult is one of a network of seven UK
technology and innovation centres, set up by the UK Technology
Strategy Board, which aim to drive economic growth through the
commercialisation of research.
The Satellite Applications Catapult/ Scottish Enterprise joint
project team has already assembled a number of requirements from
healthcare agencies and has started project definition work
addressing a series of work packages. It is expected that remote
healthcare provision will be an important early strand which will
bring rapid benefits to isolated communities and citizens.
The Centre has direct access to the nearby Edinburgh Royal
Infirmary and the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine, but
will draw on people and organisations from around the UK and will
also develop international relationships. It will be housed
initially in the ‘Nine’ multi occupancy facility which already
provides a focus for business incubation in the Scottish life
The Centre will lead in work to design life sciences experiments
to accompany the UK’s first astronaut, Tim Peake, into space next
Julia Brown, director of chemical and life sciences, Scottish
Enterprise said, "Scottish Enterprise has been working closely with
the UK Space Agency and the Satellite Applications Catapult to
explore the enormous opportunities in the development of space and
satellite technologies in the UK.
"The integration of academic and clinical excellence at Edinburgh
BioQuarter, supported by Scotland's strong cluster of medical
technology and diagnostic and telehealth companies, provides an
ideal location for a Space and Life Sciences centre that will
address global healthcare challenges - ultimately driving home
long-term, sustainable growth for the Scottish economy."
Stuart Martin, CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult, said:
“Where space and life sciences have come together before now there
have been some remarkable success stories. Examples include the
design of the artificial heart, advanced scanning technology,
digital thermometers and there are many others.
"We also know that innovation thrives on real physical
interaction between people; and this is what we are setting out to
do: bring together people from the two different but in many ways
very similar sectors, in which the UK already has world leading
capabilities, to learn and grow from each other. The result could be
dramatic, providing significant growth to the UK economy, as well as
delivering much needed and timely healthcare solutions to society."